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Julian’s Stories: Thomas, Eliot, Owen Thursday, 4 February 2010

Posted by edincityoflit in Stories.
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I have a terrible memory for chunks of text, so can mostly only remember a few lines or snippets that have stayed with me over the years. At secondary school, I remember ‘studying’ “Under Milk Wood”. I was immediately hooked by the music of Dylan’s words,

To begin at the beginning …

starless and bible-black …

the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboat-bobbing sea.

Since then, poetry has become much more important to me, so I find it easier to retain classic lines like

When the evening is spread out against the sky.

Like a patient etherized upon a table

but I still find it impossible to remember whole poems. My solution is to take advantage of digital technology, therefore on my iPhone I permanently carry this lot:

Lovesong of J.A. Prufrock read by T.S. Eliot

Dylan Thomas “Caedmon Collection” (11 CDs)

The Essential Dylan Thomas Richard Burton Reads Dylan Thomas Under Milk Wood (Read by Richard Burton)

Richard Burton Reads John Donne

Richard Burton Reads Thomas Hardy

Night Mail by WH Auden read by John Grierson

Richard Burton Reads Wilfred Owen, from which other favourite lines include,from Owen’s “Arms and the Boy:”

… his teeth seem for laughing round an apple.

BIOGRAPHY – JOHN DONNE Wednesday, 6 January 2010

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John Donne was born in London in 1572.  Donne was a poet, preacher, and politician most remembered today for his metaphysical poetry which spearheaded the genre.  Donne was born into a Catholic family and attended both Oxford and Cambridge but could graduate from neither owing to his religious faith (illegal at the time).

Donne’s first collected book of poetry, Poems, was published in 1634, three years after Donne’s death.  Donne became well-known for his vibrant poetic language and strong use of metaphor.  Donne died in London in 1631.

Richard’s stories Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Posted by carryapoem in Stories.
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I like carrying poems by different poets in my head for different moods, including (to simplify greatly): Donne for sex; Tennyson for beautiful lines and melancholy; Housman for more melancholy; Auden for thought; Burns for humour and humanity; T S Eliot for elegant precision; Wilfred Owen for empathy; Betjeman for the sense of belonging to a place; Kipling for daring to be different; Wendy Cope for her barbs of satire… That’s probably enough to be going on with 🙂